We live in a society filled with emotion. Happiness, sadness, fear, embarrassment, anxiety, and shyness are just a few examples of these emotions. As humans, we cannot interact with people exhibiting these emotions without them affecting us. In a nutshell, psychologists refer to this phenomenon as transference.
Transference introduces a risk to the helpers of others experiencing negative emotions. Subsequently, it is imperative that we take the necessary steps to ensure our continued emotional well-being. One of the best ways to ensure this is to perform a regiment of emotional self-coaching. Following are several techniques to assist with this self-coaching.
- Give yourself permission to make a mistake. We often are very critical of ourselves. However, if we saw another making a similar mistake, we would likely forgive them and move on. Why would we not be worthy of such consideration of our self?
- Monitor your self talk. Throughout the day, keep a tally of the negative and positive items you tell yourself. Are the majority of these inner dialogs negative, (“I can’t believe you did that! What is wrong with you?) or positive (“Way to go-you did a great job or it really helped them out!”). No other voice has your attention at the lead of your inner voice. Therefore, it is crucial to transform your inner voice from critic to cheerleader.
- Take time to relax, recharge, and refocus. To be effective to others, you must be able to focus on the present. This isn’t possible if you are tired, stressed, or distracted. It is important to get adequate rest, take time to focus on something you enjoy, and meditate on the scriptures. These 3 activities will help ensure you are present and prepared to assist others.
- Throughout the day, use self-soothing techniques when stress occurs. Many self-soothing techniques, such as measured breathing can be performed in the workplace without others knowing. Additional self-soothing techniques include focusing on the ambient sounds for a few moments, clasping your hands together, or even simply smiling.
- Adopt an attitude of gratitude. Focus on the great things that have happened. By redirecting your attention from negative to positive, you insulate yourself from the contagion of negativity.
These are only a few examples of techniques you can use in your emotional self-coaching toolkit. My intention is to help you begin thinking about ways you can ensure your emotional well-being while helping others.
I hear your inner voice saying, “put me in coach, I got this!”
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)